Tackling my first Olympic distance triathlon

ImageCompleted my second triathlon this past week! This time it was longer, .9mi swim, 25mi bike and 6.2mi run…and hotter with a ton of hills. I finished 3rd in my age group with a time of 3:12min. It felt awesome placing at a race, even though my age group was abnormally small. But (!!!!!) I accomplished one of my ultimate goals and this is my first season competing it triathlons. I must be doing something right.

My support crew (aka my dad and boyfriend) took a video of me throughout the triathlon. I was surprised to see myself walking through transitions! It really looks like I could have pushed myself more in those transitions and I’m disappointed in that. Granted a few really tough unforeseen events happened during the race:


1. My wetsuit zipper busted on me! AGAIN! I just bought myself a new wetsuit. The zip starts at the top, thinking this would prevent my zipper from falling down on me like it did last time with my moms wetsuit. Well….about 100 yards into the swim I felt my bare back against the water. I grabbed my zipper thinking it somehow managed to unzip itself upward. Nope! The zipper was peeled open at the top! Completely broken. My whole upper body filled with water. I got really nervous and contemplated my options. Either swim or flag down a lifeguard. I opted to keep on swimming….hey I managed to do it last time my wetsuit busted on me. When I finally reached the beach it took me forever to get my wetsuit off because I was just so tired. My body was radiating so much heat I knew I was sweating hard.

2. It got hot and humid real fast. The sun wasn’t out for my swim, it peaked out of the clouds for the bike ride but as soon as I hit the road running temperatures reached 90! And boy did that slow me down. I never trained in the heat or humidity the season. And for that matter, I never trained in hot weather with so many hills! My pace was slowed down significantly as I went through the 6 miles. At mile 3 I was running 11min/mi with my heart rate way above my lactate threshold level. Super duper slow and behind schedule.

3. Don’t underestimate a race with HILLS in it’s title. I ran Litchfield Hills Triathlon in CT and boy they were not lying about the hills. I thought I had 2 hills on the bike course and maybe 4 small ones on the run. Completely wrong! The bike wasn’t too bad but by the end of it I was tired. I could tell because it took me a while to try to kick my heal out to get out of my clip on pedals (difficult when you’re tired). Then the run had maybe one tiny flat and the rest were rolling hills for 6 miles. Mind you this is all in 90 degree weather.

So looking back at that video, I understand why I walked through the transitions. That race was tough! But the question I keep on asking myself is how can I train so I don’t ever walk through transitions again? I am happy I saw that video because it really put my training into perspective. I need to train smarter and harder.

The Plan:Β 

  1. Train in heat – So key when I’m doing races in the summer.
  2. Include more hills
  3. Train above my lactate threshold – Training above your lactate threshold for short periods of time is the only way you are ever going to get faster.
  4. Swim in my wetsuit occasionally. (Just to make sure it works!)

2 thoughts on “Tackling my first Olympic distance triathlon

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  2. Pingback: Tri Girl 22 | Race Day Lesson #1: Every Second Counts

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